Software, Globalization and Political Action

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Some pratical consideration: Crowd-Funding

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    Kikuko Tanaka

    This may be too gossipy… but I would like to share with you.

    As Terranova mentions in “Red stack attack!” I do think that recent development of crowd-funding gave us a new possibility of grassroots funding for “autonomous projects of social cooperation” to some extents. In the realm of arts funding, in 2012, the total amount of fund raised through Kickstarter grew larger than the governmental fund from NEA.

    Yet, there emerges problematic as well. In theory, crowd-funding can be an emblem of social cooperation democratically funded by “the People.” But in this view, aren’t we mystically idealizing who consists of “the People” and what they want?

    Also, crowd-funding is not free from the tactics that are required in traditional fundraising. Firstly, it needs to attract the mass of people. We can call it “democratic,” but in another word, it is a “popularity contest.” I am NOT telling this from an elitist perspective, which dismisses “popular” for “elitists’ penchant for distinction.” All I mean is that I sometime find that socially and politically significant projects do not win popularity battle. Secondly, though crowd-funding brings a lot better chance for the project to be promoted among social groups beyond campaigners’ immediate network, the campaigners’ association within a network of wealthy donors are still essential to the successful fundraising.

    Here is one of the “successful” examples funded in 2013.

    Yes…this is an artistic and educational project, but is this a “project for social cooperation”?

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